My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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CAMPOBELLO, N.B.—All the way up through Maine people kept telling me things about Quoddy Dam, what strange things had been done there, why did the houses have no chimneys, how could anyone expect to keep warm without fires in this climate, how could anyone expect ordinary people to pay for houses which cost $15,000 apiece, and what was the point in getting old masters to hang on the walls, and the most expensive furniture and blankets!

So yesterday we went over and visited this much talked of village and project. Three dams have been built, two of them connect Eastport, which is on an island, with the mainland and are so built that the train and a new highway can come in over them so they will be useful to the state and its inhabitants. One dam connecting two islands at the mouth of the Denny's River is of no value unless the project is taken up again and finished. The village built of course, for the workers on the project can easily be turned to other uses. The houses have no chimneys because there is a central heating plant and an electric stove and ice box. The old masters are photographs costing seventeen cents a piece but looking very well. The furniture comes from Vermont, is made of maple and the beds cost five dollars each! I was interested to inquire how all this furnishing had been done. Mrs. Blodgett who was in charge deserves great credit for she has done a charming job economically. It may interest you to know that the mail order catalogue of a well known firm was taken and it was figured out what the very lowest cost could be and then bids were taken and they found that for twenty-five percent more the most durable and attractive furnishings could be bought.

There has been some criticism that the blankets are a green and rust color. They cost exactly four cents more a piece than if they had been ordinary olive drab Army blankets.

The most expensive houses in the village would sell for $5,000 including land, house, ice box and stove and a share in all the public utilities. There are nine houses in a very beautiful location built with the intention of having them occupied by people on a fairly high salary basis. These cost $15,000 and I am sure will be wanted when the decision is finally made as to how this village shall be used.

I came away with the feeling that a good and an honest job had been done and that very little of what existed would be wasted if people with imagination tried to use it.

My mother-in-law has a radio so we all listened to Governor Landon's speech. An effective speech and I could only think of what difficulties success may sometimes bring with it!

E.R.
TMsd 24 July 1936, AERP, FDRL